once, it was oh so different
So we began! Claiming city quarters, grabbing goods and (eventually) shipping them to distant climes. For those hazy on the workings of Macao, you're collecting cubes to spend in future rounds, and the cubes can be spent in a variety of ways. Taking controlling of a city quarter (and picking up goods in the process), moving your ship (to deliver said goods) or moving along the wall (starting player/tie-breaker). Most crucially though, you're spending cubes to get cards off your tableau: cards on your tableau do nothing except cost you points at the game end, but once they're off they suddenly become useful. Finally if you generate gold you can pay 'tribute' and alchemically turn it into points...
How we approached the game was vastly different. Andrew took a number of easy-to-action office cards in order to get gold and claim points from the tribute track on a regular basis. He also had a card that allowed him to buy prestige twice per round (once is the norm) but unfortunately he couldn't get it actioned until late in the game.
I went for some slightly harder-to-action cards that once out of my tableau bought me some good rewards, and stockpiled cubes to turn my ship into a kind of cargo-delivering speedboat on the final round. My strategy worked:
With that old favourite tucked back in the cupboard we went for a two-player Codenames. Andrew began as spymaster and I - not for the first time - made a pretty miserable spy. Andrew's clue of "cupboard" should have alerted me to the word "game" at least, if not "centre", but having seen the word "amazon" out there, I couldn't shake famous children's novels from my mind and was convinced the clue related to Narnia in some way. We failed.
Swapping over was more successful. There were still a few bungled clues and/or guesses, but we defeated the insentient opposition by a comfortable three answers. There was just time for a bit of old-school PS4 (No Man's Sky!) before we called it a reasonably early night.